Studio Ghibli Is Not Dead Yet

Studio Ghibli Is Not Dead Yet

Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki recently said that his studio’s demise was “inevitable.” Today, there are quotes from Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki that are causing people to freak out, believing that the beloved animation house has decided to stop making films. People, stop freaking out. For now.

Last night, Suzuki was profiled on MBS program Jounetsu Tairiku (情熱大陸). In one segment on the show, Suzuki discussed the future of Studio Ghibli, and made comments that are causing Japanese blogs and foreign sites to report that Studio Ghibli is closing down its production department.

The source for the story in English is a Ghibli fan Tumblr, which simply states that Toshio Suzuki “announces” the closure of Studio Ghibli. The Tumblr site has a series of images, featuring Suzuki and his comments. These comments, however, were not translated.

So, let’s look at Suzuki’s comments and translate them. These images are from Japanese blog Someone One One!! Kotaku has yet to see the full Jounetsu episode to confirm.

Studio Ghibli Is Not Dead Yet

“Still, these words are somewhat harsh…” (in yellow — I assume this is the show’s announcer)

“We’re thinking about disbanding the production department and..”

(Note: The language Suzuki uses here isn’t definite.)

Studio Ghibli Is Not Dead Yet

“…making a big change to the larger view of Studio Ghibli.”

Studio Ghibli Is Not Dead Yet

“‘Restructuring’ is called saikouchiku in Japanese.” (in yellow)

Studio Ghibli Is Not Dead Yet

“Obviously, Miyazaki’s retiring was quite significant.”

Studio Ghibli Is Not Dead Yet

“After that, what should Ghibli do?”

Studio Ghibli Is Not Dead Yet

“With that, continuing to endlessly create like this…”

Studio Ghibli Is Not Dead Yet

“is not impossible, but…”

Studio Ghibli Is Not Dead Yet

“once, right about now, we will take a short rest and think about what’s next.”

Just a note: the wording Suzuki uses ( 小休止 or “shoukyuushi”) can mean “pause” or “a break” or a “breather.” He does not use the more definite word “kyuushi” (休止), which means either “stop, pause or suspend.”

Suzuki’s wording makes it sound like the studio is considering reorganization and regrouping. It could mean that Studio Ghibli decides it won’t make anime films anymore. Though it could mean they do keep making anime films. It could mean a lot of things!

Realise that, at the time of writing, no major Japanese newspaper is running this story. Nor did any morning TV shows. Had Studio Ghibli – a national treasure – definitively ceased production of films, it would be headline news around the country, as it would be important in both the entertainment and business worlds.

Last month, Kotaku first reported a Japanese rumour that claimed Studio Ghibli was shutting down it’s anime production department. Today’s confusion could have stemmed from this older report.

So, what’s the future of Studio Ghibli? Who knows. Studio Ghibli might not even know. But that’s probably what this breather is for: to figure things out. For the time being, at least, no final decisions have been made.

『情熱大陸』で鈴木敏夫Pがジブリの”制作部門を解体する”と発言 [Someone One One!!]

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.


  • have already had to slam people on Facebook for posting stuff without source or credible translation, so am thankful for this article for clarifying things so can post at people talking smack.

      • You would think so, but then Madman just went and shared this article of Facebook. So who knows…

    • Yeah like I was saying to the other Dan on twitters, this way of translating trickled in a little later. And makes the most sense, since anime production houses seem to change and reopen in various forms quite a bit, it probably shouldn’t be much of a surprise with Miyazaki’s retirement. I just want more than anything for both Miyazaki and Takahata to continue being involved in production in whatever form, whether writing or mentoring in some capacity, whichever studio that might end up being in.

  • All Studio Ghibli has to do is release some sort of box set collector edition with a fancy picture on the front and BAM they would have a hundred million dollars….cause people like me have too much money.

    if they need more money they could just release another collectors edition with a different fancy picture and we would all probably buy that one too….

  • Once again we have the wrong information because some people don’t take a second to think about what happened. For 3 years, I limited reading, listening to and watching news because of this shit journalism, which prefers to make a buzz instead of real information. This kind of journalism kills REAL journalism.

  • my Japanese wife says the translation is accurate, but the interpretation is that yes, it will close – that’s the Japanese way of being polite and considerate and indirect

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